Senior Staff Attorney - Children's Rights

Job Type

Full Time




New Orleans
United States



About the Practice Group: 

The Southern Poverty Law Center’s (SPLC) Children’s Rights practice group focuses primarily on (1) stopping the harsh cycle of punitive policies, practices, and procedures that push children out of their schools and into the juvenile and criminal justice systems, known as the “school to prison pipeline”; (2) fighting for educational equity, the promise that all public schools should be available to all children, and that all children attending public schools should have the resources they need to learn and achieve; and (3) protecting children’s access to vital health services, particularly to the mental health services that allow children to grow and thrive in their homes and communities. 

Position summary: 

The Senior Staff Attorney will litigate individual and class action cases related to these issues in state and federal courts at the trial and appellate levels, and will engage in other forms of related public advocacy on these topics. The attorney’s docket will include impact cases under federal civil rights statutes (such as Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Equal Educational Opportunities Act of 1974, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and the Individuals with Disabilities Act of 1990), consumer protection and fraud statutes (such as state and federal false claims statutes), health care laws (such as the Medicaid Act), and/or state and federal constitutions. The focus of the position may change as warranted by changes in the law, the circumstances in Louisiana, or the needs of the organization. 

Primary Job Functions:

  • Lead litigation under supervision of the Senior Supervising Attorney;
  • Research legal and policy issues related to education and children’s mental health;
  • Draft briefs, motions, memos, reports and other documents in support of litigation and policy work;
  • Communicate regularly with SPLC’s clients, co-counsel, and partner organizations;
  • When requested, represent SPLC in various forums, including before community groups, legislators, and state agencies;
  • Develop new cases in consultation with Deputy Legal Director, Senior Supervising Attorney, and other Staff Attorneys;
  • Supervise and manage the legal work and related tasks of Law Fellows, Interns, and Outreach Paralegals;
  • Respond to requests for legal assistance; and
  • Perform other tasks as assigned by the Senior Supervising Attorney or Deputy Legal Director. 


Education and Related Work Experience: 


  • Juris Doctorate degree;
  • At least five years federal court civil litigation or comparable legal experience, preferably including litigation of systemic reform cases;
  • Strong academic background;
  • Excellent research and writing skills;
  • Admission to the Louisiana Bar or willingness to sit for the next Bar Exam; and
  • Travel required (within Louisiana and nationally). 


  • Demonstrated knowledge of some of the following areas: the school to prison pipeline (e.g., classroom management, exclusionary discipline, restraint, corporal punishment, alternative schools, school-based law enforcement); educational equity (e.g., school funding, education models differing from traditional public schools, desegregation, education privatization); and/or children’s mental health (e.g., EPSDT/Medicaid Act, Olmstead/integration mandate policy, home and community-based services). 

Knowledge, skills and abilities:

  • Strong communication skills;
  • Excellent and consistent attention to detail;
  • Ability to prioritize responsibilities, meet deadlines, and have fun in a high-energy, fast-paced work environment;
  • Ability to work collaboratively and efficiently;
  • Aptitude for and willingness to be a team player;
  • Ability to work on several campaigns at once;
  • Strong organizational skills, follow-through, and flexibility around changing priorities and deadlines;
  • Initiative, vision, and a commitment to the struggle for social justice;
  • Understanding and sensitivity to issues client populations face;
  • Commitment to a non-hierarchical, client-centered approach to advocacy and ability to work on delicate issues in a compassionate and sensitive manner;
  • Experience working with diverse groups of partners; and
  • Willingness to learn and use internal computer systems and databases. 

To Apply:

Along with a resume, please submit a writing sample of at least 5 pages, a cover letter, three references, and unofficial transcript.  

Other Special Considerations:

This job is performed under general office conditions, and is not subject to any strenuous physical demands or dangerous conditions. 


The statements herein are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by the employee in this position. These statements are not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties, and skills required of a person in this position. 

An Equal-Opportunity Employer with a Commitment to Diversity

Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) is proud to be an equal opportunity employer, and as an organization committed to diversity and the perspective of all voices, we consider applicants equally of race, gender, gender identity, color, sexual orientation, religion, marital status, disability, political affiliation, national origin, or prior record of arrest or conviction.

Professional Level


Minimum Education Required


How To Apply

Along with a resume, please submit a writing sample of at least 5 pages, a cover letter, three references, and unofficial transcript using the following link: